Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jays Updates - August 30

It’s looking more and more like Rzep may not have fully recovered from that broken finger. If you recall, he pitched great in the spring and looked like he would break camp with the Jays until he got hit by a ball. He doesn’t have the stuff to overpower guys and needs to pitch to contact and keep the ball in play. Walks will be his downfall. Still looks like a serviceable pitcher though likely not as a starter with the Jays. He could end up fighting with Purcey for Downs spot as the setup man.

After Drabek threw another 5 innings yesterday of 1 hit ball with 5 SO and with an ERA under 3.0 he has got to be a favorite to open the season as the 5th starter with the Jays next year. I read one scout that said Drabek pitched mean……..meaning he has the killer instinct. I don’t know how they’ll keep him off the team. David Cooper hit another homer yesterday and now has 20. His average up about 30-40 points in the last 2 months. Apparently he needed some maturing and perhaps can see the light of opportunity with Wallace gone, Overbay not expected to be back and Lind’s glove uncertain at first. He could be that sleeper I talked about who comes out of nowhere to make the team or it could be 3B Shawn Bowman who also has had a solid year at New Hampshire.

Hechevarria has had a solid 2nd half and looks like he may only need another year to be ready. Look out for Alan Farina who has been doing some closing the last few games. Now has ERA of 1.65 with 24 SO in 16 innings. Uviedo who was the guy they got from Pittsburgh for Eveland has had a better 2nd half. 76 IP only 64 H and 89 SO though his ERA is over 4.0. He’s another future bullpen candidate. Pitching, pitching and more pitching coming……………got to love it!

More talk today about moving the AAA team from Las Vegas. The agreement is up and other teams in similar situations also want to move their affiliates, though the locales aren’t great from a geography standpoint for the Jays. What they want to get away from is the high altitude ballparks in the Pacific Coast League where you can’t trust the numbers guys produce. It can also be demoralizing for pitchers. I think they’d prefer to be in the International League again.

Kevin Ahrens hit another homer at Lansing yesterday. Now has 8 HR and average up to .266. A full season translates to 15-20 homers and 70 RBI’s which is not a bad year. Perhaps he’s found his stroke now that he’s given up switch hitting and gotten his career back on track. Still only 21, if he can start the season at Dunedin and produce the same, he could end up in AA ball before year end and be on track as our future 3B as expected when drafted. The same can’t be said for Justin Jackson who just appears lost. He’s only hitting .250 with no power and 18 errors……….yikes! He’s spent much of the year playing 2B. He’s going to need to make a statement at the beginning of the year or he could be looking at being released. Too many other players in the system are passing him by.

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